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Builds European data archiving business

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IT services company Granada Computer Services International, has bought the Systems Integration Services (SIS) division of Control Data Systems. Granada, which was itself the subject of an MBO last September worth around £89 million, claimed the move will help it establish a stronger presence in mainland Europe. It bought SIS for an undisclosed sum; the former Control Data division employs around 160 people in five countries and, according to a Granada statement has sales worth around £23 million. In a statement issued today, Granada managing director Richard Ferre said: "This acquisition gives us a stronger presence in those European markets where we already operate - Germany, France, Spain, Holland and Switzerland." The services market has been the scene of increased acquisition activity over the last 18 months, with 1997 seeing a 32 per cent increase in the year-on-year number of merger deals in this market, according to research carried out by IDC. IDC senior analyst Marianne Kolding said the growth in acquisitions was being driven by larger companies buying smaller ones for their specialist skills. "The larger players in the services market are looking to boost their skills and break into niche markets by buying up the more specialist players," she said. Ferre said the SIS purchase would bolster Granada's internal skills base: "In particular we intend to use SIS skills to develop our remote data archiving capability."

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